As part of the 2023 property valuation update, commercial property owners have been sent questionnaires regarding income and expenses related to their buildings. Because the City does not routinely collect this information, you may be unfamiliar with the forms and the information requested. This page will be updated with commonly asked questions as the valuation update continues. Thank you for your help in ensuring our assessments are fair and equitable to all Bath taxpayers. For more information on the valuation update in general, see the Assessor's Office's webpage.
You do not have to use the form provided. It is perfectly acceptable to submit the information requested in a format easier for you to produce (a report from your financial software, for example, such as a rent roll or financial statement). Please provide as much detail as possible on the items included in broad categories such as utilities (as shown on the form provided).
Yes! Almost all Bath commercial property owners have received or will receive this mailing, although the forms are customized depending on the type of property involved. Again, our goal is make our valuations fair to all Bath property owners, by developing as complete a picture as possible of the income generated from, and expenses required for, Bath's commercial properties. Your information will be compiled with others to generate an income approach to valuation of commercial properties that is reasonable and accurate for Bath.
The information requested is solely on income and expenses relating to the property, not the income and expenses of the business (or businesses) that may occupy the property (unless the two are inseparable, as is true for hotels, nursing homes/assisted living facilities, apartment rentals, parking lots, etc.). If the property owner is the sole occupant of the property, please indicate this on the form and ignore the income-related questions. Please do provide information on expenses related to the property, such as maintenance, utilities, capital expenditures, management, etc.
Yes, generally, and if you don't have these details readily available, it is fine to skip these questions. In some circumstances (where multiple parcels are generally treated as one by the owner, or where there may be a discrepancy in the assessor's records) it is helpful to have you tell us the size of the land and the building(s) that are included in the information on the form. That way we can be sure we are analyzing the information correctly. If you'd like to look up the size of your building or the amount of land in your property, you can find information on your property in our online assessor's database.
If your property is 100% owner-occupied, indicate on the form that the owner of the real estate and the owner of the business occupying the real estate are exactly the same; and that no lease exists and no rental payments are being made (including payment of the mortgage) by the business occupying the real estate. Please provide expense information as requested on the form. Note that real estate occupied by a business and owned by a principal of the business are not owner-occupied properties and must complete the form in full.
Please indicate the portion of the property (square footage) used by the property owner, and the portion leased to others. Provide income and expense information for all leased areas, and property expense information on the portion used by the property owner.
When the properties are wholly owner-occupied, it is acceptable to provide the expense information requested for all of the properties together (it isn't necessary for you to allocate expenses to each specific parcel). If a breakout is available, it is certainly helpful, but it is not required. If the property, or a portion of the property(ies) are leased to others (i.e. a portion of a parking lot is leased to someone else, as well as being used by the property owner), please provide information on the income and expenses attributable to that lease, and indicate the area (sq. footage) covered by the lease(s).
Our goal is to collect information on income and expenses relating to property of different types and purposes throughout the City, in order to develop an income approach to valuation that is accurate for the various types of commercial property in Bath. Your information is being used in combination with others to come up with estimates of typical income and expense per square foot of property for properties in the various neighborhoods throughout Bath. Even if your property is owner-occupied, information on your expenses for the property you own will help us develop more accurate valuation methodologies for similar properties that are leased to others.
If you indicate on the form that the information contained on the form is confidential and proprietary to your business, it will be treated as such. Under Maine Statute (MRS Title 36 §706-A), it is up to the property owner, not the Assessor, to determine which information is proprietary, so you must tell us the information should be treated confidentially before we are able to do so. Having said that, in past revaluations, property owners did not have the ability to declare their information as confidential, but such records have never been requested or reviewed by a third party in Bath to our knowledge.
Proprietary information is specifically defined in Title 36 §706-A as "information that is a trade secret or production, commercial or financial information the disclosure of which would impair the competitive position of the person submitting the information and would make available information not otherwise publicly available and information protected from disclosure by federal or state law, rules or regulations."
MRS Title 36 §706-A requires property owners to respond to the Assessor's "...proper inquiries as to the nature, situation and value of the taxpayer's property," and explicitly allows queries about income and expenses associated with commercial properties. Failure to respond could bar your right to appeal the valuation of your property as of April 1, 2023, as determined in the 2023 update of property valuations. If you are unable to respond to the questionaire, or feel it isn't applicable to your circumstances, please contact our office to discuss the matter with the Assessor.